MaleSubmissionArt.com is a small project that I’m running alongside with Eileen that aims to challenge stereotypes of erotica as it relates to imagery of gender-biased domination and submission. In our experience, such erotic imagery almost always contains images of beautiful female submission or “pathetic” male submission. Instead, we want to showcase beautiful imagery of masculine submissive subjects.

This page is mostly a place to put “here’s how we’re doing this” kinds of information about the project. At some point in the future, we may bring in other collaborators, at which point this information will be very important for them to be aware of. If you’re interested in contributing to this project, too, we encourage you to become familiar with the following guidelines.

Praise for MaleSubmissionArt.com

Over the last year, this project has been gotten a huge amount of praise that I’ve just recently begun to compile. To read some of the amazingly complimentary things people are saying about MaleSubmissionArt.com, head on over to the Praise for MaleSubmissionArt.com page.

Ways to contribute

Here are a bunch of ways you can send us imagery to post.

We’re using Delicious.com to gather incoming submissions from other people. If you have a Delicious account (and if you don’t, they’re free) just tag your bookmark as for:MaleSubmissionArt and we’ll see an alert that you’ve found something interesting.

Collaborate by tagging Flickr photos

We watch the RSS feed for the “malesubmissionart” tag on Flickr. If you have a Flickr account (and if you don’t, they’re free), upload your photos and tag them with MaleSubmissionArt to send them into the RSS feed we watch. It also helps a great deal if you choose to freely license your Flickr photos under a Creative Commons copyright.

Collaborate by sending us email

If you’ve found something that is already on the Internet, we’d prefer that you send us a link via Delicious.com. However, if you’ve got an image or something else that isn’t already online then you can also send it to us by emailing [email protected] (preferred) or [email protected]. It’d help if you provide as much context to the thing you’re sending along as you can, so that we know what it’s about.

Collaborate by creating posts

You can create posts directly on MaleSubmissionArt.com. These posts will not be published until and unless they have been reviewed by us. Please see our style guide and our FAQ to learn more about what kind of content we’re looking for.

Collaborate by creating your own reblogging project and then linking to ours

If you’re consistently finding lots of great stuff, then you should consider starting your own reblogging site where you can post all the pictures you want. There are myriad free ways to do this. Possibly the easiest is by creating a free Tumblr web site. After you create your site and post a few images, send us the link to your site. We’ll bookmark you privately and when we see you post something we like we’ll link to you! Likewise, when we post something you really like, just copy our post and link back to MaleSubmissionArt.com.

Terms of Contribution

When you contribute to MaleSubmissionArt.com, be aware that you are agreeing to these contribution terms.

Style guide for MaleSubmissionArt.com

The following is a (very) brief style guide for posts to the MaleSubmissionArt.com project that I am developing along with my collaborators. It is our hope that by following these guidelines we will consistently create quality content that pertains to the subject matter.

In this section, the words must, should, and may are used as defined by RFC 2119.

  • Every post must adhere to accepted best practices for Web content authoring to the best of the author’s ability. This basically means that content on the site must remain relevant to the site’s objectives and subject matter, and that text and hyperlinks remain readable and contextually relevant.
  • Every post should contain a short (typically one sentence long) textual description of the imagery in the post to aid comprehension for bandwidth-impaired or otherwise visually impaired visitors.
  • If included, the textual description of the imagery in the post should be written in an active voice and from the submissive subject’s point of view. E.g., instead of “a woman undresses a man bound in ropes on the floor,” use “a man bound in ropes lays on the floor as he is undressed by a woman.”
  • As multiple collaborators publish content to the project, the author(s) of the individual post must be made clear. This should take the form of a simple signature at the end of the post.
  • Images that are reblogged on the site should be linked directly to the image file and not the Web page on which the image is referenced unless the referencing page contains only the one image reblogged on the original project posting. The intent of this guideline is to avoid sending visitors to a page that references dozens of images, very few of which are likely to have anything to do with male submission.
  • Every post should include all tags that are directly relevant to its contents. Authors should be hesitant to add tags to a post that is not already defined by this project, although the addition of new tags is expected to be an organically evolving process.
  • When posting content received via reader contribution authors should assume that the reader desires credit for the find. If the reader used a pseudonym within any part of their message to us and did not otherwise specify a name with which to be identified, we must use the pseudonym when attributing the find. If the reader did not provide a pseudonym but did provide a real name we should be reluctant to post the reader’s apparent real name in order to protect that reader’s anonymity in the absence of reasonable assurances that the reader wouldn’t mind such attribution.
  • When updating a post with additional information after the posting has already been published, authors must clearly delineate the new and/or changed information from the original post. This should take the form of a headline or other obvious delimiter that makes the intent of the change clear. For example, if the source to an image was found after the original post was published, a new paragraph could be appended to the post that begins with the bolded words “Attribution Update” or similar.
  • Given a reasonable abundance of other options, authors should not post the entire work of a particular artist or all images of a single set within temporal proximity to one another. This guideline is intended to help ensure that links to the sources of erotic content are valuable to the reader.
  • Every post should use the imagery as a starting point to create textual content that is relevant to the site’s subject matter. I.e., imagery does not exist in a vacuum; authors must make some effort to describe social, legal, political, cultural, or other influences and that affect the imagery or that the imagery affects. Imagery without textual content of equally high quality is not desired.

List of tags

The following is a complete list that contains every tag used on the MaleSubmissionArt.com web site along with a link to the archive page for that tag and a brief description of the intended use of that tag. The list is sorted in alphabetical order.

black and white
Posts that contain imagery that is largely monochromatic or grayscale may contain the black and white tag.
bondage
Posts that contain imagery of the submissive subject in any form of restraints may include the bondage tag.
digital art
Imagery that has been created or significantly modified using a computer graphics application may include the digital art tag.
furry
Imagery that depicts anthropomorphic humanoid characters, more commonly known as “furries,” may include the furry tag. Contrast with petplay, in which human characters engage in animal role play.
historical art
Imagery that has been created during past artistic movements, generally before the period beginning in the latter 20th century, may include the historical art tag. For example, this could include vintage photographs, pin-up art, fine art, and other historical artifacts.
homosexual
Posts that contain imagery that explicitly suggests solely same-sex encounters may include the homosexual tag. Only such images with two or more same-gendered subjects without the inclusion of other gendered subjects should be given this tag so as to maintain its intended specificity.
marks
Posts that contain imagery depicting physical manifestations of sexual play may contain the marks tag.
narrative
Posts that contain imagery that explicitly suggests a narrative of some kind may include the narrative tag.
petplay
Posts that contain images in which human animal roleplay is the distinguishing characteristic of the content may include the petplay tag.
photograph
Posts that contain images of real people produced with a camera may include the photograph tag.
sculpture
Images that depict work originally created in a three-dimensional medium may include the sculpture tag.
solo
Imagery whose entirety depicts a single, unaccompanied subject may include the solo tag.
watersports
Imagery that contains urination or play involving urine may include the watersports tag.
video
Posts containing moving pictures, whether animations or recorded with the use of a camera, may contain the video tag.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Will you post everything I send you?
Maybe. We’d like to remain steadfast in adhering to our original mission statement. Sometimes your choices may be different than ours. Nevertheless, please do send us everything you like—this is important feedback.

Also, please remember that we are unlikely to post images if links to them redirect us to login pages. Notably, many links we receive that point at DeviantArt.com galleries are unusable because we would need to login—problematic, despite being free.

Do you only post photography?
No. We’re excited to post any form of visual medium.
What won’t you post?
Here’s some stuff we will not post under any circumstances:

  • Content you would normally have to pay for, such as non-preview versions of premium content. We’re not stealing.
  • Content that contains underage models.
  • Content that does not contain a male-identified subject. We don’t post solo images of women.
  • Content deemed contradictory to the site’s goal of challenging stereotypes. (Yes, we know that’s subjective.) See also “What kind of imagery is likely to be deemed contradictory to the site’s goal“.

Bear in mind, we only know what people tell us about the images we receive.

How dare you post my copyrighted image? Remove it right now!
Yes, not a problem, we’ll do that immediately. Please simply send us an email with a link to the content that you own and want removed and it will be taken down as soon as we can.

That said, we’d like to let you know that if we posted an image of yours, it means we really like it and want to promote your excellent work. Please consider letting us continue to showcase your piece. If proper attribution or other citation is missing from our post, it merely means that we didn’t have this information at the time we posted it. If you know more about a piece of content than we do, we encourage you to write to us to fill us in.

What a cool idea! I’d love to talk to you more about it. How do I do that?
Since we’re only using the MaleSubmissionArt.com email address to gather contributions at this time, we’d prefer that discussion about the project be held on our blogs, your blogs, or via our personal email addresses (which are available on our blogs). ;)
Why doesn’t the MaleSubmissionArt.com web site allow comments?
The purpose of MaleSubmissionArt.com is not to be a discussion forum or central place of publication that discusses masculine submission, gender as it relates to sociosexual power dynamics, or any of the other topics that we cover. We feel strongly that allowing comments on the site itself would undermine the mission of distributing positive representations of and discussions about attractive, masculine submission across the Internet. We explicitly aim not to monopolize the discussion but rather to motivate the creation of such discussion in other places. If you have something you want to say about one of the pictures, we urge you to write a blog post about it on your own blog so that you are actively supporting the goal of spreading awareness about masculinity and its diversity across the world. (You can always email us to let us know that you blogged about us, but a link usually suffices, as well.)
Do you post images from unknown sources?
Yes. We cite content sources as best we can, but will post anything that is relevant for the project. If you know the source of an uncredited image, please let us know via email.
Can I send you a picture of myself?
Yes. The best way to do this is by posting your image on the web (perhaps on your own blog?) and then sending us the link to it. Naturally, you have a better chance of appearing on the site if the image you send reflects our style and subject matter. It also helps if the image you send is technically solid. We’re not talking professional lighting, hair, makeup, that sort of thing, but created with some semblance of visual sensibility in mind.
Will imagery that doesn’t reflect mainstream standards of beauty be posted?
Yes. Put simply, we are more interested in depicting male submission than we are in depicting beauty—there are already plenty of places to find “beautiful pictures of men.” That said, we still want to reach as wide an audience as possible, so imagery that depicts mainstream ideas of what is beautiful is a large proportion of the contributions we get.

So in essence it’s an issue of variables: the chances of us posting something that does not fit the “media’s definition of beautiful” is very high as long as the content has lots of beautiful male submission in it. To put it bluntly, we don’t believe men have to be models in order for photographs of their submission to be beautiful.

What kind of imagery is likely to be deemed contradictory to the site’s goal?
Bear in mind that the imagery we post has a very directed purpose: challenging stereotypes of how male sexualities are perceived by society, especially as it relates to power. While this may not always be obvious from the imagery itself, we think the commentary in the image’s caption often makes our message even clearer.

Therefore, we are eager to post imagery that is unique, different, or exemplary of this message. We are similarly not excited about posting images that have little to no interesting commentary in this regard. Additionally, there are huge varieties of Internet chat groups, personals boards, and various other sites online that collect and distribute stereotypical pictures of male submission. Such stereotypical images of men being humiliated, forcibly feminized, or otherwise degraded are not hard to find, so we are unlikely to feature them here.

Why aren’t there more images of insert-your-desired-aesthetic-here on the site?
The purpose of the Male Submission Art site is to depict submission, embodied by men and other male-identified people. This is certainly related to showcasing the many ways and bodies in which sexual submission can be portrayed but these two things are nonetheless distinct. Solely depicting an underrepresented aesthetic is not sufficient grounds to meet the criteria of sexual submission as judged by the editor. Moreover, the site is expressly and purposefully editorial, never objective.

That being said, we find variety and diversity very hot, so if you do know of images that feature an underrepresented aesthetic and that you also think match the site’s goals, we eagerly invite you to suggest them to us via any of the contribution means noted above.

Production notes

These are just notes of my own for helping me to remember how I’m doing this stuff.

Exporting from Tumblr

I managed to find a way to create a decent backup of the textual content. It goes like this:

  1. Use the Tumblr2WordPress tool to create a WordPress eXtended RSS file. (Details about the tool.)
  2. Massage the resulting XML file using Vim with the following steps:
    • Remove post titles (since MaleSubmissionArt posts have none): %s/<title>\_[^<]\{-}<\/title>/<title><\/title>/g
    • Turn off comments and pingbacks: %s/<wp:comment_status>open<\/wp:comment_status>/<wp:comment_status>closed<\/wp:comment_status>/, and then %s/<wp:ping_status>open<\/wp:ping_status>/<wp:ping_status>closed<\/wp:ping_status>/
    • Use the given post ID for the tumblrize_post-id meta field: %s/<wp:post_id>\([0-9]\+\)<\/wp:post_id>/<wp:post_id><\/wp:post_id>\r\t\t<wp:postmeta><wp:meta_key>tumblrize_post-id<\/wp:meta_key><wp:meta_value>\1<\/wp:meta_value><\/wp:postmeta>/
    • Add the appropriate post type meta field details based on the resultant category: %s/<category domain="category" nicename="\(photo\|video\)"><\!\[CDATA\[\(photo\|video\)]]><\/category>/<category domain="category" nicename="\1"><![CDATA[\1]]><\/category>\r\t\t<wp:postmeta><wp:meta_key>tumblrize_post-type<\/wp:meta_key><wp:meta_value>\1<\/wp:meta_value><\/wp:postmeta>/
  3. Import the massaged WXR file into a WordPress blog.